Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Public Private Partnerships

Since both the major parties are very keen on public private partnerships for transport infrastructure I take it that everyone is well aware of their mixed record of success in Australia and that both parties are equipped with ideas for how to avoid the well-known pitfalls in these schemes. Take for example the debacle of the Cross-City Tunnel in Sydney which resulted in the bankruptcy of the consortium running the tunnel and significantly increased costs for the taxpayer. (For want of a better link, Wikipedia)

Many of these projects are expensive to use and consequently underutilised since commercial imperatives typically require projects to make money over a fairly short period. The state can afford to take a much longer view of infrastructure needs.

Such a long view should these days take into account the likely high price of petrol in the future, I'd much rather we were talking about public transport rather than new roads.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, but sadly both National, and to a lesser extent Labour, seem fixated on more roads as the 'answer' to our transport needs.

At least Labour made a sound strategic move by buying back the rail. I believe that in the decades to come this will be seen as a very wise move indeed, that is unless it isn't flogged off again.